Nokia Communicator 9500

Nokia Communicator 9500 crap-phone

First of all, think seriously before buying this hardware. I've got this one with heavy discount and I must say that this is the only way I don't regret purchasing it. This piece of hardware is most expensive on the market and in many aspects it's worse than any normal cellphone. This device just sucks.

Review

You can read review on all sites around the net dealing with GSM cellphones, so I gonna write just my impressions.

Pros

  • Bluetooth, IrDA, WiFi, GPRS EDGE
  • MMC card possible (cheapest card technology on the market)
  • Great inside display
  • Good inside keyboard, the outer one is piece of crap
  • PuTTY and AgileMessenger works
  • Quite good camera

Cons

  • The firmware (SymbianOS 7.0) is f*cking sloooow. To open a new app takes about 2 seconds, to draw a freakin' menu sometimes takes same amount of time. I've deep experience with EPOC16 (predecessor of SymbianOS) on PSION Series 3 and it was way too faster than this machine when running on V20/4Mhz!
  • Because of freshness of this model, nearly all aplications made for N9210 crash. Backward compatibility in SymbianOS is pure utopia.
  • Everything is nonstandard - Bluetooth channels, Sync protocol, PC Connection, simply everything.
  • There's no standard connector (jack, mini-jack) for earphones, so you have to buy Nokia's ones. And of course, their quality is low too - the volume is low, no basses and their connection cord will break very soon (the wire is very thin).
  • Dream of connecting phone to PC thru USB and putting there files using USB mass storage class is very naive. You have to install several megs of 'funky' Nokia software before transferring single byte. Not to mention it, the Nokia Suite is M$W only.
  • Cannot switch keyboard language. Mine has hardwired Czech keyboard which is pretty bad when you try make some Linux stuff. I have to press Shift everytime I want to write a number!
  • Ergonomy is very discutable. Some things are solved well (writing a quick note), other are terrible. Simple example: when you check some number as preferred, it's still last in the list of numbers you can call in the address card. I can call somebody/write a SMS on my T610 than on N9500 much faster due to lesser number of necessary clicks.
  • Phone doesn't support client mode of OBEX FTP standard, ie. you cannot browse files on remote Bluetooth device. Even my T610 can do this.
  • Synchronization doesn't work between different phones (tested N9500 ←→ T610), only WBXML based SyncML supported.
  • When sent SMS is delivered, you get the receipt but the icon doesn't change so if you miss receipt somehow (just a short beep), you don't know if SMS was or wasn't delivered. Every freakin' phone has this feature! Update: this information can be obtained from system log. To open it, you have to open the phone, get to the menu, start Log application, wait until it opens the log (several seconds) and then filter the entries to 'send SMS' action. Ugh.
  • Say somebody calls you/sends you a SMS. You don't have him in the adressbook, so you add him there. But all places where this number is mentioned (call list, SMS Inbox) don't update themselves so you still see numbers and not names! Result: same as above, every freakin' phone has this feature!
  • Device doesn't support PAN Bluetooth profile, so using Bluetooth as connection channel to network is impossible. So Communicator is not that communicative anymore.
  • The phone doesn't have vibra-ringing. Of course I knew this before - but try to imagine - you've got cellphone in size of solid brick and it doesn't have vibra-ring. NC9500 is targeted at managers who definitely need silent profile (which is there) with vibrating ring (which isn't).
  • You cannot use camera when the cellphone part is switched off, front panel main button is unusable, to press it the way you want requires great deal of dexterity in your fingers.
  • The MIDI player in the phone doesn't play stereo, all songs are played mono only. When playing MIDI through headphones everything is very quite and generally included wavetable/fm synthesis sucks (bad instruments, sounding like old AdLib cards, most cellphones have much better instrument bank)
  • As you can see, cons highly overnumber pros. If I can recommend, buy this hardware only if you want to have integrated pocket SSH client with usable keyboard (which is exactly my case). Unfortunatelly, in current market (spring 2005) Nokia Communicator is the only choice.

    Connecting to Linux

    There're two possible ways doing this. First is Bluetooth/IrDA OBEX connection, which works without installing anything. The only problem with this is that Bluetooth channels are messed up.